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News and Events:
Homeland Security and Civil Liberties Take Center Stage at Conference
1

FEATURED STORIES
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IN JUNE, PENN LAW HOSTED a rousing debate on the competing interests of protecting national security and maintaining civil liberties. The forum drew national experts from the military, federal government, legal academia, and the civil rights bar.

Penn Law, the U.S. Army War College and the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response sponsored the conference, which occurred as the Supreme Court prepared to consider cases involving government detention of so-called enemy combatants. Penn Law Assistant Professor Nathaniel Persily organized the conference, which drew approximately 200 people.

Among the participants was Frank Dunham, the federal prosecutor from Virginia who represents terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui and Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan who remains in a military jail. Dunham cautioned that depriving people such as Hamdi, who is also believed to hold Saudi citizenship, of civil liberties only fuels Islamic extremism.

On the other hand, Temple Law School Professor Jan Ting defended U.S. efforts to not only detain terrorism suspects but to track the whereabouts of visitors from Muslim nations. He said it is too easy under U.S. immigration laws for terrorists to visit America, so surveillance is necessary.

Representing Penn Law at the conference were professors David Rudovsky, Seth Kreimer, and Kim Lane Scheppele. Rudovsky spoke about civil liberties in light of security threats; Kreimer discussed first amendment rights; and Scheppele addressed presidential and judicial power through the lens of international law.

 
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